I work with many small business owners, and the number one complaint I hear is that they don’t have enough time to focus on their website, to write thorough content, promote their business, or complete every day taks. Oftentimes, business owners have a hard time asking for help. It’s in the spirit of entrepreneurs to try to do it all, at the same time.
However, task delegation is vital for great leadership and small business success. Even the most organized and efficient CEO needs help and support to get it all done.
Here are the steps to effective delegation of workplace tasks so you can focus on your small business growth:
The Benefits of Delegating Tasks
As we talked about above, entrepreneurs are big do-it-yourself-ers and may sometimes find it hard to accept help or delegate tasks for other to do. However, this mindset isn’t sustainable and if you want your small business to grow and expand. You’ll inevitably need to learn the steps of when and how to distribute tasks within your company. In fact, you could be actually holding your business back from being all it can be if you insist on doing everything yourself. But, when do you need to let go of the reins?
There are several benefits to delegating tasks and sharing the work load. According to Time Doctor, there are 4 main ways that task allocation can help your small business:
1. Boosts Productivity
Focus on your strengths and what you can do best. Allocate tasks you struggle with to others who are better equipped to complete them. Using this method, everyone will be tasked with projects they feel confident and capable in, and will be able to complete them at a faster rate.
2. Increases Efficiency
Tied to productivity, delegating work to others with particular skills or knowledge bases will allow them to complete tasks correctly assigned to them at a faster rate. Part of a successful work team is utilizing everyone’s best strengths to ensure work is completed correctly, smoothly, and on time.
3. Boosts Company Morale
Time Doctor states, “Rather than dipping your hands into every project, take the time to get to know your staff and their work. This will give your co-workers an opportunity to thrive, create a more positive environment, and boost company morale.”.
4. Improves Quality of Work
When you assign tasks to those are are most equipped to complete them, you are also ensuring that they’ll be completed at a higher quality as well. You hired specific co-workers and employees because they have specialized skills, knowledge, and experience, use that to the advantage of the whole company! Those individuals will be able to give unique perspectives, background knowledge, and thoughts that others may not consider or have experience with. The quality of the work you produce as a company is what will help you stand out and attract new customers and clients to you.
Know When You Need to Delegate Tasks
Maybe you already know the benefits to distributing work to experienced individuals in your company, but are a little lost on the steps of determining the timing. There are some key tell-tale signs to look out for in determining when it’s time to start delegating tasks away from yourself and to others.
Here’s a short checklist to help you determine the steps to delegating tasks to others:
- Are you meeting work deadlines on time? – The first sign that you need to start delegating work tasks is when tasks sit uncompleted on your desk well past the original due date. I understand that you’re busy, we all are. To fix that, you have two options: limit your commitments or ask for help.
- Are you routinely dealing with tasks outside your expertise area? – If you’re a business owner who spends time working in areas of your business outside of your knowledge base, you could potentially be wasting valuable resources. By delegating tasks to others that are outside your area of expertise, you’ll save valuable time and money and allow yourself to work in areas that you enjoy and have experience with. I’ve seen business owners who are excited about a specific initiative. They will struggle with tasks and jobs outside their specific wheelhouse and meanwhile, there are others on staff who are already educated in that area who go unused. If you notice yourself making mistakes, or spending a lot of time and money trying to complete work duties, it might be time to ask for help.
- Are you pushing certain tasks to the back burner? – It’s normal to have areas of your business that you find more interesting than others. But, if you’re intentionally skipping tasks because you have no real drive to make them a priority, you need to shift those tasks to others within your company who are better suited to complete them.
- Do you often feel burnt out and exhausted? – Small business owners and employees alike all need a break sometimes. It’s a lot of work to start up, manage, and grow a small business day in and day out. If you’re finding yourself stressed and over loaded, it might be time to re-evaluate your work flow and processes. By delegating certain tasks to others within your company (based on their departments, skill level, and seniority), you can take some time to recharge your batteries and work on a more manageable task load.
Who to Delegate Tasks To
The whole purpose of delegating work tasks is to create a harmonious work flow within your small business. But, if those tasks are to be completed well and on time, you need to pay attention to who you’re delegating those work tasks too. An employee’s department, authority, experience, seniority, and knowledge all come into play when determining how to best delegate tasks and manage work flow within your company.
Here are a few tips to help you get started delegating work tasks:
- Seek Help Internally – Do you already have an expert on staff that specializes or has special knowledge in a particular area? Use that to your advantage and delegate special tasks to those people. If you can, take the time to learn from them as well! That way, if they are overbooked or too fully tasked with projects, you’ll be able to step in and fill that need. If that person is already an expert, they’ll be able to complete that task much faster, which will in turn, saves everyone time, money, and energy.
- Hire an Intern – If you have easy tasks to delegate, look into hiring an intern. Many college students need credits and work experience to complete their degrees, which would be a win-win for you if you’re on a budget. The only time I would NOT recommend an intern is if the task is complicated, technical, or high specialized to your company. If it is going to take you 6 months to teach the person, you’d be better off hiring part time help.
- Add A Part Time Position – If you have a group of tasks that need attention and are fairly involved, you might want to consider hiring someone part time. Bringing someone on for a few days a week, or a few hours a day would allow you to delegate those tasks slowly, but consistently. You’ll get the chance to learn about this new hire’s strengths and weaknesses, and delegate the tasks accordingly. And, if all goes well, you may find them valuable to your company and hire them full time!
- Outsource If You Need To – If your internal resources are tapped and you’re not in a position to hire an extra employee, you should consider outsourcing. Thanks to the internet, you can outsource just about anything these days. Clients of mine have used Textbroker as a resource for content development, and Upwork for admin assistant. Many times you can choose the freelancer you work with to ensure that the work you receive is up to your standards.
Delegating authority to qualified individuals within your company to help you complete necessary tasks can help your business experience more growth and success. The checklists above will help you determine the necessary steps to delegating tasks. As an entrepreneur, it’s difficult to try and manage everything perfectly and over time you’ll find yourself burnt out, overly stressed, and falling behind. Do what’s best for your and your business and start giving some responsibility to your co-workers and employees!